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Who’s next for UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic?

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With UFC 203 ‘Miocic vs. Overeem’ officially in the books it’s time to find the next contender for the hero of the night, Mr. O-H-I-O himself, Stipe Miocic.

When it comes to Miocic, all I can say is this, folks, we now have a bonafide heavyweight star on our hands. The 4 minutes and 27 seconds that Miocic and Overeem spent inside of the cage together felt like an eternity to the Cleveland crowd on Saturday night. Multiple fans in attendance had no issue comparing Miocic’s first title defense to the Cleveland Cavaliers winning their first NBA championship.

Every single moment from the walkouts, to the punch that sent Miocic to the ground, followed by the guillotine attempt that nearly ended it, all the Overeem running (cue the Benny Hill theme) in between, and the eventual Miocic takedown that led to some of the most brutal ground and pound in UFC heavyweight history made this fight an easy pick for fight of the night.

So, where does Stipe go from here? There are only three fighters worthy for his 2nd title defense and we’re going to figure out who is the most deserving below.

Fabricio Werdum: Werdum had an opportunity to make his case for a rematch against Miocic at UFC 203 when he took on Travis Browne in the co-main event of the evening. While Werdum was able to defeat Browne for the second time in his career, it did not come without controversy and it certainly did not help his case for a rematch against the champ.

Fabricio Werdum did not, I repeat, did not earn a title shot on Saturday night. He’s knows that, and I know that. We know that. Time to move on. Next!

Cain Velasquez: Why? This two-time UFC heavyweight champ is arguably the greatest heavyweight of all-time without question. Why not? Well, he lost to Werdum in Mexico City last summer and he is no stranger to pulling out of fights due to injury by no fault of his own.

Make no mistake about it, Miocic versus Velasquez is a heavyweight title fight to get excited about.

Junior dos Santos: Dos Santos hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire as of late. He’s a .500 fighter over his last 4 fights having suffered devastating losses against Overeem and Velasquez. One of those victories, however, came over Miocic via unanimous decision in a fight that earned Fight of the Night honors. It may be time for these two heavyweight kingpins to run it back for what would be a highly anticipated sequel.

Final Verdict: Stipe wants to take a little time off to spend with his family and continue his work as a fire fighter and paramedic (is there anyone more awesome than this guy?) in Ohio before taking another fight. And he’s more than earned it. Velasquez isn’t interested in waiting. The former 2-time heavyweight champ said that he wants his rematch with Werdum in December on the most recent episode of UFC Tonight. Velasquez even went as far as to say that “this one’s personal” to him after losing the title to Werdum in Mexico City back at UFC 188.

When Cain asks for a rematch, you give it to him. Make Werdum versus Velasquez II for the UFC’s return to Toronto on December 10th (or the annual NYE card in Vegas) and have the winner fight Miocic sometime in late winter/early spring. You always have JDS as an insurance plan if either man suffers an untimely injury between now and then.

image credit – Strong Style MMA

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